Beverley Naidoo

Visits and Events

School Visits

Festivals, Conferences & Literary Events


Talking to Year 6 at St Hubert’s Primary, Great Harwood


The Power of the Pen (One hour or longer)

This talk is a broad introduction to my work for a large or smaller audience.

Whether I’m talking to top primary, secondary students or adults, I aim to give a strong sense of how a writer can respond to real life through fiction. I read some extracts and show PowerPoint images linked to my background and books.
There is an opportunity to:

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Crafting a Novel or Short Story (One hour or longer)

This workshop is for a class or group who have read a particular book and follows on well from the introductory talk.

Drawing on the book, I talk about how experience, research and imagination are part of a creative process that begins with the glimmering of an idea.
In our writer-reader discussion, topics include:

There is the opportunity to ask me detailed questions. In preparation, students can be encouraged to imagine themselves as ‘investigative journalists’ and to ask deeper questions about characters and plot, sources and settings, viewpoint and values. As follow-up, they can be encouraged to explore the power of the pen in their own writing.

For workshops on Journey to Jo'burg, students can 'Hotseat' me in role as the Madam. (She always provokes a lot of discussion!)

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Storytelling and Picture Books

I offer an occasional session with younger children when I may turn into my tricksy little hare Mmutla and the BIG animals in The Great Tug of War or retell a couple of Aesop’s Fables... or share the making of a Picture Book. We may even try out a poem or two from S is for South Africa to encourage the children to make their own poetry alphabet!

Size of Groups

This depends on the nature of the session. Talks can be for a large audience but workshops are best class-size.

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Anticipating a visit

School visits flourish with good preparation. I can send you a Preparation for Author Visit sheet so your students ‘travel’ as far as possible on the day. It also includes advice on running a ‘bookshop’ which allows time for informal chatting while I sign books.
The Society of Authors’ website offers a download Guidelines for Schools Organising an Author Visit.


My normal fee is towards the upper-end of the Society of Authors’ recommended range. Authors give up at least a day’s writing as well as working very hard when they come into school. A good visit provides stimulus and ideas for teachers as well as students.

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Publishers and Publicity

My publishers will be happy to support my visit with publicity materials.
In UK contact:
Penguin Children's Books Tel: 020 7010 3000 (Ask for Puffin Publicity or ext. 3386)
HarperCollins Children's Publicity (for Journey to Jo'burg) Tel: 020 8307 4453
Heinemann Education Publicity Tel: 01865 314346
Frances Lincoln Tel: 020 7284 4009 (Ask for Publicity)

Thank you for the inspiring talk and the honesty with which you answered the students' questions. All of the classes were spellbound and were so interested in listening to you develop the ideas they had been exploring in class. The work we have done since is evidence of this.

Diane Douglas, Kineton High School

Thank you so much for your visit to our school. The children produced a fantastic selection of work (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, artwork...) inspired by your visit - with very little direction from the adults.

Gemma Kent, The Lyceum, London

Read about visits to Hurstpierpoint College, Gillingham School and Merchant Taylors’ School.

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Festivals, Conferences & Literary Events

I have taken part in many festivals, conferences and literary events in the UK and abroad.  I enjoy talking to teachers, librarians, parents and young people. Perhaps I should just admit that I enjoy talking!  Moreover, I love the drama in reading aloud. (My parents were both closely connected with theatre and probably deterred me from a precarious profession, but that’s another story...)

I live in Dorset so, depending on where you are, overnight accommodation may need to be considered as well as travel. 

With organisers of What a Story: Children’s Literature Conference Beirut 2009

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